Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Inability to Fail

The sun crept over the horizon illuminating the clouds pink and purple. An eerie fog hovered over one lone field hugging it with whiteness. An occasional car drove by but mostly it was silence. And I was on my way to the grocery store.

It wasn't an early morning trip for the convenience of shopping kid free, I had Ryder with me so Eric could get ready for work while the other two still slept. It was because I had forgotten something. I had forgotten juice boxes.

I had signed up to bring ten-ten juice boxes for Alex's preschool class. I scavenged my cupboards that morning in desperation only finding eight. They come in packets of eight, so why was the sign up for ten? I had several boxes of Capri Sun's but only 8 100% Juice boxes. I probably could have brought the Capri Suns, but something in me wouldn't allow it. Was it the desire to succeed, to follow through with my word, or simply trying to put forth a good image? I wasn't sure to be honest.

From a young age I had a very strong drive to succeed. I was terrified of failure and I was terrified of getting in trouble. The mere thought of being in trouble would often bring me to tears. In fourth grade when a television crew visited my classroom, I was the one lone child that didn't look up at the camera to smile as we were told to just pretend like we were working. This fear wasn't because of my upbringing. My parents were wonderful and being the fifth of six children-they were pretty laid back and relaxed when it came time to parent me. It was just something internal, something I was born with.

With time this fear lessened. As I started to see the world around me and especially after an encounter with an adult who publicly humiliated and scolded me it all but disappeared. Yes, I still wanted to succeed and be successful. Yes, most would still call me a good girl; but my respect was no longer freely given and offered-it had to be earned.

Now many years later; life has taken me on many rides. From the height of arrogance to the worst depths of humility and back somewhere in-between to hopefully a good balance.

So as I hurried through the store at 6:30 this morning I wondered why I was there. Why did I have to come and get those juice boxes? Was it compliance, was it following through with my word, or do parts of that underlying fear still linger?

But maybe, maybe that fear and drive to succeed are nothing to be ashamed of but something to celebrate. As it has lead me through life to be who I am today.

And well today, today I like myself.

I am linking this post up with Shell's Pour Your Heart Out. This is her one-year anniversary of this meme so stop by her blog and see what she is all about.


  1. Awww, this is a great post!!
    You are awesome. :)

  2. fantastic post! I'm off to check out her blog!

  3. Amazing! I feel like I could have written this post. I was also the 5th of 6, and coming to appreciate myself in and out has been a struggle for a good part of my life. Thank you for sharing your thoughts here.

  4. Great Post.

    Could you have been at the grocery that early getting juice boxes because you secretly knew sending 8 of one and 2 of another could cause headaches for the teachers and potential arguments over the 2?

    Stopping by from The Hickman Four and Touch of Home Learning

  5. Why do the demands never fit the numbers of packages? It's enough to drive you crazy. I probably would have been going to the store early too, if I had forgotten to get them earlier--the need to comply with the "rules" is strong in me too.

  6. I would do the exact same thing. I probably have. I could have sworn it came in 10. But you is 8 and for the price of 10. Grrr. It's good to know I am not the only one to make an early morning run. Well make mine late night. I don't do mornings. ;)

  7. I think if I had said I'd bring them, I'd be driving to the store early too. I think you're great! And I like your drive in this way.

  8. I smiled through this post. I was alway like that too. Hating to get in trouble, and always trying to be good so as not to. Granted, I did get in trouble a lot, so I am not sure why I am like this. Still am today. Sigh. But I think it is a good thing, right? The deep sense of responsibility that drives us to do the right thing. It is good. :)

  9. I think so many of us can relate to this. And I'm quite sure that juice pouches would have been just fine.

  10. I probably would have been driving to the store, too. I try to not worry about being the best, but I also have a strong desire to please.

  11. Maybe because I'm way older than all of you, and past the point of caring what others think of me, I'd have brought in the Capri Sun.

    I figure only life-saving medication is worth a trip to the store at 6:30AM.

  12. What a sweet and honest post. I was a tad bit opposite of you growing up, But always found if I told the truth, I never really got in trouble.
    "Yes, dad I skipped school...the weather was so nice and we wanted to go to the beach..."

    He would write me a note for the school but had that disappointed look in his eyes..It killed me to see him like that so I never would do it again.

    Your a good mom!

  13. Don't feel bad, I would have done the same thing. Just be true to yourself and you'll be fine.

  14. I would have done the same thing.

  15. i remember being so afraid of failing and making mistakes in high school. terrified into perfection. now, i am loving my imperfections and liking it more when i make mistakes and fail. i like how my character grows when i fail. i wrote a post about a little of this idea this week, hadn't read this before i wrote it. we were on the same page. the more i read blogs, the more i realize how we are all alike.

  16. I have that same drive....and i know i was born with it!